17 February 2011
Sometime after 21:00 PST
Well, I think it's pretty safe to say that I have made it on board my first overseas and first solo flight. Apparently, it was hailing as we were about to leave, so they needed to de-ice the plane, or possibly just the runway. Either way, I was prepared for a slick takeoff, not driving around the airport grounds for 30 minutes. I must have begun and ended the breathing calmly process 7 or 8 times, before giving up and reading my book [Before this trip, I was a nervous flyer. 1300 planes later, I think I've got the process down.] By the time we *actually* took off, I merely clutched my pillow and hoped I could relax my back soon - preferably before I herniated a disc.
Checking in was easy, and security was nerve-wracking. Short, but nerve-wracking. I even got "randomly selected" by Officer Friendly to be taken aside and swabbed for chemicals. [YVR's technique: Pick the most scared-looking traveller, take them aside and question them. Starts the trip off right, as you know.] Also, they didn't even ask me to empty my bags, which I would have gladly done, so relieved was I to be in the regular security line after "random selection" [I'm terrified of airport security people. I will pretty much admit to anything, even things I didn't do.] I didn't set off any alarms, so I must not have any radioactive selenium left in me. [Stomach-related test, approximately 2 weeks prior to leaving. I had documentation with me in case I *did* set off the alarms.] After, I walked off, kind of dazed, having left my parents merely two and a half minutes prior.
I picked up a quite ill-advised bag of potato chips and some water, went to my gate for a snack and a People magazine reading. Then, I learned how one vomits into an automatic flushing toilet: carefully. Unpleasant, but I lived. Ish.
Time passed relatively quickly after that. Somehow. I sent text messages to my mom, took my pills, went to the bathroom, and called Ruy - from a pay phone, since my cell won't dial overseas. By the time I was ready to sit down and do anything, it was nearly time to board.
There is one other person in my row, and she has the window seat. This is good, because these seats are tiny. [Little did I know, they'd just get tinier with every plane I took.] I've spent much of the time since I boarded being too damn hot (overcompensating for the burst of cold weather outside?). It has finally cooled down, for which I remain eternally grateful.
I do wonder at this change in weather - I recall it being freezing and snowy before Ruy and I left for Tofino, as well. Inclement weather, and I'm travelling in it.
We appear to be about to cross the border between BC and Alberta, and it seems to have hit 22:00 already. Mysterious. Does this mean I've already lost an hour passing into the Mountain Time Zone? I guess I could continue staring at this map...
Dinner happens soon. Surprisingly, I'm hungry. I may add to this later in the flight, but I am currently hungry and sleepy. See you in 8 hours anyway.
-Jess, 22:10 PST